Tomorrow is officially Thanksgiving in the US. For me, Thanksgiving is the most difficult holiday. It is a holiday about food surrounded by a lot of people and a lot of food and weight talk that has been really triggering in the past. This year, however, I am going to make Thanksgiving a different, better experience for myself. Here’s how:
1. If I need a break, take one. I can walk into a different room, go to my room, etc. and take a few moments to collect myself and go back to the party. It is okay to take a break if I need one.
2. Food and weight talk does not have to trigger me. When other people express feelings of fatness or fullness, it does not have to trigger me. It is their feeling and has nothing to do with me. What is going on in my body? How do I stay present for myself?
3. Remember to be a mindful/intuitive eater. The many plates of food available on a holiday can be overwhelming. Remember to check-in with my body to see what it wants and needs. Also checking-in throughout the meal to see if I am full or not.
4. Have a plan. Be prepared for the things that I know will be stressful. For instance, have a plan for what food items I know I can eat/are “safe” in case I am emotional before dinner and cannot choose.
5. Reframe! Reframe! Reframe! Remember to reframe all the negative thoughts and negative thinking into neutral or positive thoughts. Instead of letting myself think I am fat for eating or being full after dinner, thinking of all the reasons that that is not true such as one meal will not make a person fat, I am not fat, I am not an accurate measure of my body weight, this too shall pass, etc.
6. Use gratitude. There is so much for me to be thankful for right now including my family, my recovery, my kitty, football, and so much that I could not even list all the things here. In the moments where I find myself stressed or feeling down, I need to remember all those things that I am grateful for because there is a lot.
7. Wear what is comfortable. Although your mother may want you to still dress up after all these years, wear what is comfortable. Be comfortable.
8. Be kind to myself. If I make a mistake, something unexpected happens, I get overwhelmed, etc., there is always kindness and self-compassion. I need to remember that mistakes happen, things happen, and to be kind and gentle towards myself regardless.
What is on your Thanksgiving Thriving Guide? What about your Holiday Thriving Guide? What helps you overcome your triggers and stresses during the holidays?
An eating disorder stole so much from me. Holidays, birthdays, and events that I will never get back. This holiday season will not be one of them. More to come!
Stay strong Recovery Warriors! ❤